Dengue Virus Dilemma in Lower Sindh

The district government did not take timely precautionary measures to prevent dengue in the lower belt of Sindh. The official sources admitted that the major reason behind the huge number of dengue-patients hospitalized is carelessness of medical and technical staff. Furthermore, low budget was allocated to combat the disease.

According to survey report, the ratio of dengue cases in all districts of lower Sindh is causing grave concerns among public. The total numbers of patients admitted in district headquarter hospitals of district Sujawal, Thatta, Badin and Tando Muhammad Khan is approximately thirteen hundred in last three years, as reported.

Most of health-related issues from internal Sindh especially rarely make headlines in Pakistan. Dengue outbreak in Sindh is one of the dire issues people from internal SIndh are facing. The menace of dengue can be cured only if serious efforts are taken at the earliest. The virus has to be terminated at any cost and for this Sindh Sarkar can learn a lot from Punjab province. Though virus not rooted of densely populated province, but officials have learnt a lot in Shehbaz Sharif’s era.

Dr. Rizwan, medical officer at Matli hospital said that it was true that fumigation should have begun before the season, which is the time of larva development. “Regrettably, spraying was not done this year. However, it is being ensured that timely sprays will be done from next year to control dengue,” he said.

Dr Rizwan said a comprehensive mechanism was developed to counter dengue fever in the lower parts of the Sindh. About forty survey teams have been formed to fumigate various parts of the district, Dr Rizwan said, adding that fumigation is currently being carried out in areas where dengue larvae have been found. He added that awareness about dengue fever is also essential, and urged people to keep their surroundings clean to stop dengue fever from spreading.

For all this, district government didn’t have enough budgets which are about 3.4 million to utilize for advertisement and awareness programs. Another major reason, is the Municipal Committees’ failure to launch anti-dengue fumigation campaign, become main cause of dengue outbreak, whereas the municipal authorities blamed Sindh government is not supplying insecticides chemicals to the Municipal Committees for the past three years. They said the Sindh Malaria Control Program was bound to purchase insecticide chemicals and distribute them among the districts of Sindh as per demand, but the Program management had not been providing the chemicals to the town committee for the past couple of years.

On this situation, Dr. Noor Mohammad Memon, Incharge Malaria Control Program was asked by this correspondent regarding the current situation, he said its provincial government failed to provide the funds, because after the 18th amendment in constitution the provincial government doesn’t get required funds to run the program. Although the Prevention and Control Program for Dengue in Sindh (PCPD) is conducting fumigation in selective areas of lower Sindh after reporting of dengue cases, the authorities concerned of the Taluka Municipal Committees are unable to start fumigation drive throughout the city to control prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases.

Ex. Medical Superintendent, Dr. Ameer Ali Channa while talking to this correspondent at his office, has warned against complacency in fight against dengue as the threat is not yet over. He advises that irrational use of drugs for dengue patients should be avoided because it predisposes infections that are otherwise self-remitting. According to him, current and next month are still ideal period for breeding of mosquito carrying dengue virus so people would be required to take all precautionary measures as advised by health experts.

Haroon Mirjat, a patient at DHQ Hospital complained that dengue outbreak was reported from at least six villages of union councils Saeedpur Takkar. He blamed that there was lack of adequate facilities to grapple with dengue at the villages, while Taluka Hospital Bulri Shah Karim also lacks a blood bank, which is necessary for the patients of dengue fever as they require regular intakes of platelets.

Another patient namely, Qambar Ali Khokhar, a resident of village Qaboolpur, told journalists that his village was the worst affected by dengue fever, where thirty persons contracted the fever during the past four months. The menace of dengue can be cured only if serious efforts are taken at the earliest. The virus has to be terminated at any cost if people are to be secured from getting destroyed. In short, people concerns are genuine and need to be addressed.

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